It’s the second of our four king salmon spey rod reviews that came out of our first week at BC West this season! Here’s the introduction to this batch of king rods and here’s our review of the ECHO King rod from last week.
Today we’re giving you our impressions of the Sage 10130-4 ONE, Sage’s entry into the dedicated king salmon spey rod market. The Sage ONE single handed series came out last year to much fanfare, and right about now Sage is starting to ship the spey and switch rods in the ONE series. We’ve written about the ONE spey rods before – here’s our review of the 8136-4 from last month.
Man, this thing is light! Sage touts light weight as one of the benefits of their ONE rods, and in the world of king rods, this rod is a feather. It’s the lightest in the group of four that we tested at 8 1/4 ounces. Just to give a point of reference to those of you familiar with Sage’s last lineup of spey rods, that’s the same weight as the 8134-4 Z-Axis – in a rod that easily throws 700+ grains (more on that below) and helps you yank on giant chrome kings.
It’s a great looking rod with the ONE trademark black thread wraps on a black blank. Like all the ONE spey rods, it’s got a down locking reel seat – a feature commonly-requested by folks who like having the weight of the reel closer to the butt of the rod.
The 10130-4 ONE has the longest grips of the four rods we tested. Whether or not you like this will be a matter of personal preference. The long grips help you really pull with the butt section when you’re hooked up to a big fish (that’s what these rods are all about, after all), but if you’re used to shorter rods with shorter grips, you might feel a little bit ‘crossed up’ making off-shoulder casts.
It’s fast, light and really powerful. When loaded it seems to bend really uniformly through its length – meaning that you don’t feel a ton of bend in the butt section like you do with some slower rods.
With this much power it was easy to cast too far. 40 to 80 foot casts are totally effortless, and that’s the zone in which you generally want to do most of your king fishing. As we worked line out we often had to remind ourselves to stop short of the 90- to 100-foot mark. Yeah, it’s fun making long casts with this rod, but the fish tend to be closer to the beach!
Did we mention it’s light? The 13 foot length (short for a 10 weight) made it feel lighter yet. Fatigue was not a factor at all, and that’s a welcome relief for those of us who have fished 10 weight spey rods in the past.
We fished the 10130 ONE with 720 and 750 grain Skagit heads. We liked the 750 the best. Loops were a little tighter with the 720, but we felt like it just loaded easily and comfortably with the 750. Besides, king fishing often means big tips and big flies, and it never hurts having some extra grain weight in the head to turn over all that junk.
The short length, light weight and down locking reel seat all combine to make a light reel the best match for this stick. The Hatch 9 Plus was too heavy – we had to work to keep the tip of the rod down mid-swing. We wound up fishing a Sage 3500D (from Sage’s last generation of reels; the current equivalent would be the 6010) most of the week and thought it was a good match, even if maybe still a tiny bit too heavy.
The Sage 10130-4 ONE is a premium, high tech, light, fast, powerful rod for king salmon. It’s lively, easy to fish all day, and more than capable of getting your king tackle out there to distance. With its long grips and 13 foot length it’s also one heck of a tool for fighting big fish.
It’s premium-priced at $970. You can pick one up here.
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